I work for a small company in the US. Every December we get a holiday bonus. The bonus isn't mandatory and is not part of my negotiated salary. It's just a little extra we get at the end of the year which just shows up via direct deposit. Am I supposed to acknowledge it in any way? I never have in the past. I work remotely and am seldom in the main office but I'm wondering if I should send a thank you card, email, etc.

  • It is unclear how big the company is and whether or not you know the owner. If it is a big company with many levels of management then tank your manager. If it is a small company and the owner and you know each other, then thank the owner.
    – MaxW
    Dec 22, 2017 at 18:40

2 Answers 2


A thank you email to your direct manager and the manager above them is usually how I handled it.

Don't speak of the bonus to anyone else. You don't know if others were included or not, or if they received different amounts. Whether they did or didn't, whether it was the same, more, or less, nothing good will come from "comparing notes."

Say thank you, privately, and go on with your work.

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    "Don't speak of the bonus to anyone else. You don't know if others were included or not, or if they received different amounts." -- excellent..
    – Neo
    Dec 21, 2017 at 20:16
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    You can, of course, discuss your compensation all you want. In fact, in America, it's protected by the NLRB. You can't be disciplined for it, and you are able to talk about YOUR salary all you want. You can totally get fired for asking other people what they make, of course. Your boss certainly won't like it, and it will cause drama, but if you don't care to avoid that, then you're just playing your bosses' game of maintaining an information discrepancy and deflating wages for them. Dec 21, 2017 at 20:25
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    I have no plans on discussing salaries/bonuses with anyone. I just wanted to know if I should send a (private) thank you to my boss.
    – 001
    Dec 21, 2017 at 20:27
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    @Adonalsium - I think that advice was not "you'll get in trouble if you do" as much as "why generate drama and/or resentment by causing a co-worker to suddenly feel slighted and unappreciated when you don't have to." Dec 22, 2017 at 16:26
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    @Adonalsium - I believe that taking a bonus and turning it into some sort of confrontation leaves you a couple letters short of class. Dec 22, 2017 at 17:27

Since it's a small company, and all of you know each other, besides it's a holiday bonus, I would simply suggest making a small present for everyone, or only your employers. Write a personal greeting in a postcard with a new year wish, anything that shows honesty and warm feelings. A bonus is a nice gesture from the employer so a symbolic gift from your side is very kind gesture too.

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    Gifts flow down, not up, unless by "small present" you're simply referring to a thank-you card with a personal message which is indeed perfectly appropriate. Your answer is a bit unclear and could do with being fleshed out. If you can take the time to reply you can take the time to write out "something" in full.
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 22, 2017 at 10:30

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